APTA Geriatrics News 

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September 03, 2021

In response to member requests, APTA now offers a set-and-forget monthly dues payment plan, available to all new, returning, or renewing APTA members.

Here's how it works: At the time of renewal or initial membership, you can choose to have your annual dues divided into 12 equal monthly online payments (plus a $1 per month administrative fee). You can also add a section contribution at that time, too, as well as any voluntary contributions to things such as PTPAC, the PT Fund (which includes the longstanding Minority Scholarship Fund), or the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research.

Once set up, there's nothing more to do: The monthly installments will be made through an autopay system, and you can even arrange to have your membership auto-renew each year. It's that simple.

Dues are still for annual membership, just as they are under other APTA dues payment plans.

Check out the APTA dues payment plans page for more details and a link to terms and conditions.

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September 01, 2021

Check out the updated webpage for Falls Prevention Awareness Week at NCOA. They recently added links to “The Role of a Physical Therapist in Health Aging” and “Encouraging Older Adults to Stay Active During COVID-19” under Flyers, Infographics and other materials. Further updates in October will feature physical therapy as they highlight PT’s Role in Fall Prevention during National Physical Therapy Month. 

Download the Falls Prevention Awareness Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Professional & Community Engagement for Geriatric Fall/Balance Assessment, developed by the Balance and Falls SIG. The resources provided within the toolkit are designed to assist clinicians and students in creating and/or improving their community-based falls prevention events by utilizing current evidence and a wide-variety of quality resources.

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August 23, 2021

Congratulations to this year’s 2021 Emerging Leader Awards recipients who will be recognized during the Honors & Awards ceremony following the 52nd Mary McMillan Lecture on Sunday, September 12, 2021. A special congratulations to the APTA Geriatrics members who are among the recipients:

Carolyn Haggerty, PT, DPT
Steven Kinney, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist
Katherine Kugler, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist
Elizabeth M. Roddy, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist
Megan Thibodeau, PTA 
Kathleen M. Walworth, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist

Thank you for nominating these incredible individuals for their leadership and contributions to the profession as well as for supporting APTA’s Emerging Leader Award.

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August 23, 2021

Kathleen Walworth, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist has been selected as a 2021 recipient of the APTA Emerging Leader Award. Walworth is an APTA Geriatrics member and engaged volunteer.

In nominating Dr. Walworth, leaders of the Academy of Geriatrics said, “ Dr. Walworth’s expertise and skills shine in the capacity as Program Co-Chair where she facilitated the orientation of two new co-chairs, managed three years of programming for APTA Geriatrics, and lead the transition from face-to-face programming to virtual for 2021 Combined Sections Meeting. Dr. Walworth’s passion for the profession is evident as she continues to pursue new leadership opportunities.”

The Emerging Leader Award was established to annually honor individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary service to the profession and APTA early in their careers.

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August 06, 2021

APTA CSM, the largest physical therapy conference in the country, will take place Feb. 2-5, 2022, in beautiful San Antonio, Texas, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Housing is now open. We expect that the Grand Hyatt, our headquarters hotel, will sell out prior to registration opening. The Marriott Rivercenter and Riverwalk are co-headquarters hotels and are also good options. They are located just across the street from the convention center and will have CSM activities held in their meeting space. Book your hotel accommodations now. Should you have any questions on housing or solicitations, please contact APTA's Housing Center.

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August 06, 2021

Silver Sneakers has been identified by the Center for Disease Control as an evidence-based fitness program for ageing adults that promotes good health through physical activity and socialization. Silver Sneakers provides access to fitness facilities, community exercise classes, and workout videos. Silver Sneakers is a benefit of many Medicare plans. See the attached resource for healthcare providers to use to determine if their patients have Medicare Silver Sneakers benefit and for finding locations in their area

To promote physical activity at home, physical therapists can encourage ageing adults who have Silver Sneakers with their Medicare Plan to log-in and access over 200 On-Demand classes on exercise and nutrition. Silver Sneakers also has a collection of workout videos posted by various instructors on YouTube that are free for all to use. The intensity of these videos varies; many are appropriate for ageing adults with moderate to high levels of fitness. The 10-Minute Sit and Get Fit Workout is a good resource for people with limited ability to do exercise in standing. The 7-Minute Yoga Workout includes slow fluid movements performed in standing with a wide-base of support.

Access the resouce here.

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August 06, 2021

Two opportunities for members to make their voices heard at CMS are now available in the APTA Regulatory Action Center. APTA has created two template letters for members to use to submit comments to CMS — one that covers all the issues included in the proposed 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and a second that focuses specifically on the PTA payment differential. Members can customize and submit one or both. Comments are due by Sept. 13.

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August 06, 2021

Each year more than a quarter of Americans age 65 and older report a fall. While not all falls result in injury, fall injuries can result in functional decline, decreased quality of life, and even death. CDC has created new clinician resources to help prevent older patient falls during a hospital stay and post-discharge, as well as tools to help educate ageing adults and caregivers about how to age without injury.

Ageing adults often experience decreased mobility while hospitalized. This can increase their risk of poor functional outcomes after discharge and lead to hospital readmission. To help hospitals prevent falls in hospitalized and recently discharged patients, the CDC created the STEADI: Best Practices for Developing an Inpatient Program to Prevent Older Adult Falls After Discharge. The Best Practices Guide was created in partnership with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and offers a 10-step framework for promoting safe mobility and managing older patients’ post-discharge fall risk.

Also available is a Fact Sheet that summaries how the guide was developed and how other hospitals can build a similar inpatient fall prevention program.

The CDC also released a new toolkit to help partners promote ageing adult injury prevention. The toolkit offers quick facts, key messages, social media, and a sample letter to share with their partners about the Still Going Strong campaign. Still Going Strong is a positive messaging campaign that encourages ageing adults to age without injury and provides simple steps that ageing adults and their loved ones can take to prevent injuries.

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July 14, 2021

The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research (FPTR) recently awarded $232,500 in scholarship funding to 21 promising physical therapist researchers. The awards will help these new investigators begin their research careers and complete doctoral studies.

Congratulations to all of the scholarship winners, including APTA Geriatrics members Patrick Knox, PT, DPT, MS, Michelle Rauzi, PT, DPT, ATC, and Elizabeth Choma, PT, DPT, GCS!

See the full list: https://foundation4pt.org/foundation-for-physical-therapy-research-awards-nearly-a-quarter-of-a-million-in-2021-scholarship-funding/

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June 28, 2021

Take the next step in your career and join more than 30,000 physical therapists who have already achieved board certification as clinical specialists. The 10 specialty areas offered by ABPTS, including Geriatrics, are a recognition of the increasingly vital role physical therapy plays in optimizing movement to improve the human experience. It pays to be a member of APTA, as you will save up to $1,070 on certification application and exam fees!

Application Deadlines:

  • July 1, 2021: Cardiovascular & Pulmonary, Clinical Electrophysiology, Oncology, Women's Health, Wound Management
  • July 31, 2021: Geriatrics, Neurology, Orthopaedics, Pediatrics
  • October 31, 2021: Sports

Learn more: https://specialization.apta.org/become-a-specialist/from-start-to-finish

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June 15, 2021

Each year APTA honors outstanding achievements on the part of its members in the areas of overall accomplishment, education, practice and service, publications, research, and academic excellence. Congratulations to the following APTA Geriatrics members who were recognized:

Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association

  • Greg Hartley, PT, DPT, FAPTA, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Shawne E. Soper, PT, DPT, MBA, FAPTA
  • William H. Staples, PT, DPT, DHSc, FAPTA, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy


27th John H.P. Maley Lecture Award

  • Susan L. Whitney, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy


Lucy Blair Service Award

  • Roger Herr, PT, MPA
  • Nannette Hyland, PT, PhD
  • Robert Latz, PT, DPT
  • Marilyn E. Miller, PT, PhD, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Susan Ropp (Chalcraft), PT, DP
  • Robert Wellmon, PT, DPT, PhD
  • Carol Hamilton Zehnacker, PT, DPT, MS


Societal Impact Award

  • Lisa VanHoose, PT, MSPT, PhD, MPH, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Oncologic Physical Therapy


Dorothy Briggs Memorial Scientific Inquiry Award

  • Allison Gustavson, PT, DPT, PhD, for the article “Application of High-Intensity Functional Resistance Training in a Skilled Nursing Facility: An Implementation Study” published in PTJ, Vol 100, No 10.


Helen J. Hislop Award for Outstanding Contributions to Professional Literature

  • Gail Jensen, PT, PhD, FAPTA


F.A. Davis Award for Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Educator

  • Ronald Meade, PT, DPT

See the full list: https://www.apta.org/apta-and-you/honors-awards/2021-awards-recipients

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June 14, 2021


The U.S. Centers of Disease Control & Prevention estimates that in 2018, 2.4 million emergency department visits and more than 700,000 hospitalizations across the U.S. were due to unintentional injuries among people 65 and older — and of those injuries, more than 90% were related to falls. Researchers believe that number could be reduced significantly if health care providers took a more concerted approach toward falls prevention interventions, including referral to physical therapy and adjusting or eliminating certain prescribed medicines.

Read more: https://www.apta.org/article/2021/05/27/cdc-ed-hospital-report

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June 14, 2021

APTA Geriatrics takes pride assisting in the development of young professionals interested in advancing their careers through working with ageing adults. To foster the growth of Geriatric Physical Therapy Specialty Practice, APTA Geriatrics offers scholarships to physical therapists in a geriatric clinical residency or fellowship programs.

The following are the 2021 recipients of the Clinical Residency or Fellowship Scholarship:

  • Brianneth Alvarado, PT, DPT
  • Lisa Tagariello, PT, DPT who is in the Cincinnati VA Medical Center Physical Therapy Geriatric Residency Program
  • Matthew Sahhar, PT, DPT who is in the Mayo Clinic Geriatric Residency Program
  • Sarah Hong, PT, DPT who is in the University of Minnesota Geriatric Clinical Residency
  • Sarah Talbert, PT, DPT who is in the Cincinnati VA Medical Center Physical Therapy Geriatrics Residency Program
  • Taylor Barnett, PT, DPT who attends Creighton University and is in the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions

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June 02, 2021

The U.S. Centers of Disease Control & Prevention estimates that in 2018, 2.4 million emergency department visits and more than 700,000 hospitalizations across the U.S. were due to unintentional injuries among people 65 and older — and of those injuries, more than 90% were related to falls. Researchers believe that number could be reduced significantly if health care providers took a more concerted approach toward falls prevention interventions, including referral to physical therapy and adjusting or eliminating certain prescribed medicines.

Read more https://www.apta.org/article/2021/05/27/cdc-ed-hospital-report

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May 28, 2021

In alliance with the Academy’s Mission and Vision, the physical therapy care of older adults encompasses the entirety of the ageing person within their unique environment and throughout their ageing process. We believe the Physical Therapist/Physical Therapist Assistant (PT/PTA) must advocate to reduce health disparities and health care inequities, improve access to health care services, and address the health, wellness, and preventative health care needs of people.

To that end, APTA Geriatrics presents the following guiding principles for Best Practices in providing geriatric physical therapy.

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May 24, 2021

The revised Outcome Measure Toolkit is now available to APTA Geriatrics members. The revision project had multiple purposes: to update the Outcome Measure Toolkit; to reassess recommendations based upon additional literature found; to correct and edit errors that were oversighted from the original Toolkit; to add information about references’ populations to the tables to assist with decision-making about tool use.

Key updates in the revision document:

  • Tables have been amended, and now include updated content from recent literature up to 2019 and descriptions of subject populations. In addition, there are references listed following each table.
  • Recommendations have been adjusted based on evidence. In addition, a few outcome measures, i.e., TUG, were accidentally left out in the recommendation section of the original Toolkit and are now included in the revision document.
  • Population and setting information have been edited with more details and consistency. Unfortunately, some authors provided only mean age or age range, instead of mean and standard deviations. Additionally, a handful of articles did not publish participants' age information. In these cases, we specifically pointed out "information on age details not available".

Read the revised toolkit here: https://geriatricspt.org/special-interest-groups/balance-falls/Outcome-Measure-Toolkit/

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May 13, 2021

The APTA Geriatrics Members voted to amend the bylaws during the February 2021 virtual Members Meeting. These bylaws have now been approved by APTA national per the required process. Thank you to all who joined us for this year's annual members meeting!

Read the revised bylaws: Download file


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April 30, 2021

Data from the member survey conducted in the Fall of 2020 showed that our members value advocacy in many different areas. Advocacy became a pillar in our Strategic Framework. Yet even the Board of Directors struggled to succinctly clarify advocacy priorities in our early discussions.

The Board of Directors appointed a task force to assess our advocacy priorities and met over several weeks to outline the areas of established APTA Geriatrics advocacy efforts, review that against the member survey results, and to establish priorities for future efforts to align within the strategic framework. We developed a long list and then were able to identify four main themes of advocacy: payment and practice, the experience of ageing, the profession of geriatric physical therapy, and the association. This priorities list will be used to direct the APTA Geriatrics Board, staff and member efforts, and the communications plan to share updates and advocacy opportunities with the membership. We welcome comments or questions via geriatrics@geriatricspt.org. 

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April 15, 2021

The American Physical Therapy Association, in partnership with the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy (ANPT), is looking for members interested in being a part of a task force to aid in the dissemination and implementation of a clinical practice guideline (CPG) focused on the physical therapist management of Parkinson Disease. The CPG identifies recommendations for PT evaluation and treatment of this health condition. The purpose of the task force is to create information and tools to optimize the use of the CPG recommendations in PT practice. The time commitment for serving on the task force is 3 years with an average of 5 hours of service each month.

Please apply here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfoR-FSDnBZdFYWOliy1uQqRgIsgOUp5wE86EY7YG_iv6LFQg/viewform?usp=sf_link

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April 06, 2021

A first-of-its-kind study shows that physical therapy and occupational therapy provide functional benefits to most patients in postacute care settings, with evidence of significant rehabilitative value across 1.4 million Medicare cases.

This research used data that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services made available for the first time. The findings have implications for postacute care payment system reforms and can serve as a baseline for future studies.

Read more and download a summary and charts.

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March 18, 2021

CMS, in collaboration with the CDC,  has issued updated guidance for nursing homes to safely expand visitation options during the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency. Facilities should allow responsible indoor visitation at all times and for all residents, regardless of vaccination status of the resident, or visitor, unless certain scenarios arise that would limit visitation.

  • Unvaccinated residents, if the COVID-19 county positivity rate is greater than 10 percent and less than 70 percent of residents in the facility are fully vaccinated,
  • Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met the criteria to discontinue transmission-based precautions, or
  • Residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, until they have met criteria for release from quarantine

The updated guidance also emphasizes that “compassionate care” visits should be allowed at all times, regardless of a resident’s vaccination status, the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate, or an outbreak. Compassionate care visits include visits for a resident whose health has sharply declined or is experiencing a significant change in circumstances.


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March 04, 2021

Physical activity improves your health and quality of life.

The new #ChoosePT public awareness campaign is gearing up to make a big splash in APTA’s centennial year. The new initiative will leverage the reach of the ChoosePT.com consumer-focused website to deliver the messages, including an enhanced ChoosePT toolkit with resources that members can share with patients and communities.

APTA will also distribute the PSA to TV and radio stations nationwide. The PSA is built on a montage of a diverse range of people to convey that most Americans aren't getting the recommended amount of physical activity — a health crisis that was present before COVID-19 – and shouldn't wait for the pandemic to end before being addressed.

It is a hopeful call to Americans to increase physical activity and seek help from PTs and PTAs to overcome physical activity barriers. A call to action directs the public to visit ChoosePT.com, APTA's consumer website, to find more information and a member PT in their area.


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March 04, 2021

The annual Awards Ceremony and Member Meeting looked and felt a little different this year due to the circumstances of the pandemic, but it was no less a celebration of the accomplishments of our members and the profession of physical therapy. While we weren’t able to see each other in person, it was still important to recognize our peers and the excellence they bring to our profession.

If you missed last week's APTA Geriatrics Awards Ceremony, we invite you to watch the presentation in its entirety here.

The following professional, research and student award winners were recognized as part of the virtual broadcast on February 24.

· Carole B. Lewis Lecture award - William Staples, PT, DPT, DHSc

· Adopt-A-Doc - Jeremy Graber, PT, DPT and Valerie Shuman, PT, DPT

· Excellence in Research - Valerie Shuman, PT, DPT

· Fellowship for Geriatric Research - Pam Dunlap, PT, DPT, PhD

· The Best Publication in JGPT - Gunay Ardali, PT, PhD

· Outstanding PT and PTA Student - Krystal Emerson, SPT and Lindsay Bishop, PTA

· State Advocates of the Year - Beth Castellini, PT and Tiara Stingley, PT, DPT

· Distinguished Educator Award - Danille Parker, PT, MPT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA

· President’s Awards - 1) DEI Task Force co-chaired by Talina Corvus, PT, DPT, PhD and Stephanie Long, PT, DPT; and 2) Rolando Lazaro, PT, DPT, PhD

· Joan M. Mills Award - Kate Brewer, PT, MPT, MBA

Minutes from the Member Meeting can be found here.

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March 04, 2021

The Challenges of Aging During COVID-19: Long-Term Care, Vaccination and Isolation

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, anxiety and depression stemming from social isolation are increasingly impacting elders’ mental health. To help address these issues and protect elders against the virus, the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation recently recorded a webinar titled The Challenges of Aging During COVID-19: Long-Term Care, Vaccination and Isolation.

The webinar offers actionable strategies to:

  • Connect elders with community resources that help address loneliness, including local community health specialists and programs that pair elders with younger community members who interact with them regularly
  • Facilitate elders’ access to COVID-19 testing sites and vaccination clinics, such as by partnering with pharmacies to provide these services


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January 11, 2021

In November, the Board spent several days developing the Academy's new strategic plan, guiding the organization through the next several years. We look forward to even more exciting changes within the Academy; engaging and re-engaging our members, expanding our reach and our influence, and pushing all of us toward excellence in care of aging adults.
Download the Strategic Plan.

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January 11, 2021

The CDC recommends early vaccination of long-term care facility health care personnel and residents. Read their Long-Term Care Facility toolkit to prepare for COVID-19 vaccination and build confidence in the vaccine.

Read more.


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January 11, 2021

Incontinence and Related Disorders: Implications for the Aging Adult
Carol Figuers, MS, PT, EdD; and Christina Holladay, PT, DPT, WCS
Earn 0.2 CEUs (2 contact hours/CCUs) 

Pelvic floor dysfunction and urinary incontinence (UI) may be observed in a wide variety of conditions with particular impact and concerns in older adults. The physical therapy assessment for this concern may include interview, physical examination, diagnosis, and prognosis. Physical therapy interventions presented utilize traditional muscle and soft tissue techniques. A combination of exercise, behavioral, and educational interventions are discussed in this course with an emphasis on providing a comprehensive approach to care. The purpose of this course is to provide an opportunity for understanding the prevalence and etiologies of common disorders of the pelvic floor along with behavioral and exercise strategies for symptom management with a focus on UI.

Access it here.


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January 11, 2021

APTA Geriatrics is pleased to announce the addition of Noelle Alicia to the APTA Centennial Scholars Program. APTA Geriatrics will sponsor Alicia and support her pursuit of leadership opportunities, both at the component and national levels.

The APTA Centennial Scholars Program is designed to build a cadre of future association leaders and demonstrates APTA’s investment in a diverse and prepared leadership pool.

The 12-month program will run throughout 2021 with a goal of engaging 100 scholars via live and virtual learning experiences. Additionally, scholars will work directly with APTA Geriatrics to design and complete a capstone project that addresses an existing need of the Academy.
"I am extremely excited to become a Centennial Scholar for APTA Geriatrics in order to maintain and expand the success of the association through the next century," said Alicia. "I believe the Geriatric cohort is particularly vulnerable to the complexities of healthcare and with the projected rise in the older adult population, there is a need for optimization of professional and clinical advancement. In addition, I am looking forward to direct collaboration with driven and motivated therapists across the country to propel the physical therapy profession forward."

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January 05, 2021

Armenians in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh) experienced a brutal war on their ancestral homelands threatening their existence in a genocidal effort. As a result, we have thousands of wounded soldiers and civilians. We are shocked to learn that rehab centers and systems are not available in Armenia! The Armenian American Sports Medicine Coalition is working on establishing tele-physical therapy visits and is in dire need of volunteers. Might you or someone in your PT (or OT) network of colleagues be interested in this global aid initiative? Please reach out to Rosalynn M. Nazarian, MD at rmnazarian@mgh.harvard.edu.

In addition, the Ministry of Health in Armenia has also communicated a need for on-the-ground physical therapy volunteers. Dr. Nazarian can assist with sponsorship of an interested individual by a local non-profit organization. Interested candidates may send a CV and their available duration/timing for the proposed mission.

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November 12, 2020

Congratulations to the following candidates who will take office at the APTA Geriatrics Member Meeting in February 2021.

  • President - Cathy Ciolek, PT, DPT, FAPTA
  • Vice President - Greg Hartley, PT, DPT
  • Director - Jacqueline Osborne, PT, DPT
  • Nominating Committee Member - Jennifer Rouse, PT, DPT
  • Balance and Falls SIG Nominating Committee Member - Deborah Constantine, PT, DPT
  • BH SIG Nominating Committee Member - Marissa Lynn Cruz, PT, DPT
  • CMH SIG Nominating Committee Member - Rashelle Hoffman, PT, DPT, PhD
  • GHAA SIG Vice Chair - Jennifer Cruz Garcia Youssef, PT, DPT
  • GHAA SIG Secretary - Becca D. Jordre, PT, DPT
  • GHAA SIG Nominating Committee Member - Soshi Samejima, PT, DPT
  • HPW SIG Secretary - Jennifer C. Sidelinker, PT, DPT
  • HPW SIG Nominating Committee Member - David Michael Morris, PT, PhD, FAPTA
  • RF SIG Vice Chair - Jill FitzGerald, PT, DPT
  • RF SIG Secretary - Emma L. Phillips, PT, DPT
  • RF SIG Nominating Committee Member - Sarah Carolyn Smith, PT, DPT

A big Thank You to all the candidates who participated in this year's election and to the members who voted!

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November 12, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a new online platform - the Nursing Home Resource Center - to serve as a centralized hub bringing together the latest information, guidance and data on nursing homes that is important to facilities, frontline providers, residents and their families, especially as the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues. https://www.cms.gov/nursing-homes

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November 12, 2020

Have You Seen the New Learning Center?
Earn CEUs from online courses, webinars, modules — All in one place!

APTA Geriatrics is proud to introduce our new Learning Center, with special members pricing. Get access to home study courses, webinars, certification programs, professional resources, and more. Find it at https://geriatrics-learningcenter.apta.org or click on Certification & CEUs at geriatricspt.org.

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October 22, 2020

The Fall 2020 edition offers policymakers, health advocates and other interested health care professionals a detailed compendium of state telehealth laws, regulations and Medicaid policies.  Please note that for the most part, states continue to keep their temporary telehealth COVID-19 emergency policies siloed from their permanent telehealth policies.  In instances where the state has made policies permanent, CCHP has incorporated those policies into this report, however temporary COVID-19 related policies are not included.  For information on state temporary COVID-19 telehealth policies, visit CCHP’s COVID-19 Telehealth Policy tracking webpage.

The report also includes an executive summary, which summarizes CCHP’s findings along with an “At a Glance” Infographic and Chart that highlights key data points from the report.  CCHP’s online interactive map tool has also been updated with all of the newest information from this update.


Telehealth shouldn’t be allowed in emergencies only!  https://www.apta.org/advocacy/issues/telehealth

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October 22, 2020

UPDATED! APTA's academies and sections formed the Cross-Academy/Section COVID-19 Core Outcome Measure Task Force to identify a core set of outcome measures for patients diagnosed with COVID-19, across the continuum of care and in all settings. A core set of outcome measures aids in describing the trajectory of recovery from COVID-19 and facilitates research initiatives.

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October 15, 2020

APTA Geriatrics is pleased to announce the following winners of the APTA Centennial Scholars Program. APTA Geriatrics will sponsor the participation of these two individuals and support their pursuit of leadership opportunities, both at the component and national levels.

The APTA Centennial Scholars Program is designed to build a cadre of future association leaders and demonstrates APTA’s investment in a diverse and prepared leadership pool.

The 12-month program will run throughout 2021 with a goal of engaging 100 scholars via live and virtual learning experiences. Additionally, scholars will work directly with APTA Geriatrics to design and complete a capstone project that addresses an existing need of the Academy.

Jermain Tezeno, PT, OTR/L, DPT
"As APTA reflects upon a 100-year legacy of forward progress, I am thankful for being selected and grateful that APTA will be investing in me as part of the next generation of leaders as a centennial scholar while representing geriatrics. I am excited that I will be learning and gaining a better understanding of leadership and management skills from a diverse group of mentors within the association, and paying it forward by expanding and contributing my knowledge in the profession."

Hannah Acton, PT, DPT
"As the APTA approaches its centennial year, I am excited and honored to be sponsored by APTA Geriatrics as a Centennial Scholar. I believe this opportunity will further my personal leadership development to allow for a greater impact in geriatric physical therapy, APTA Geriatrics, and the profession."

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October 15, 2020

October is National Physical Therapy Month, an opportunity for PTs, PTAs, and students to celebrate the profession. This year APTA is highlighting the many essential health benefits of regular physical activity and the transformative role PTs and PTAs play in helping Americans get or keep moving.

The focus on physical activity amplifies APTA's latest ChoosePT public awareness campaign, launched in July, to address the prevalence of inactivity among Americans.

You can find eight ways to participate here.

Highlights include:

  • Share ChoosePT.com resources. APTA’s ChoosePT toolkit offers downloadable handouts and graphics. New graphics feature information on key populations, according to HHS’ Physical Activity guidelines, including children, pregnancy, falls, and cancer survivors. NPTM is also a great time to share YouTube videoshealth tipspodcasts, and more.
  • Update or create your profile on APTA's Find a PT directory. This member benefit is accessible through ChoosePT.com, which reached more than 4 million Americans last year. Consumers can filter search results by practice focus or specialization.
  • Get social. Use #ChoosePT in your social media posts, and be sure to follow ChoosePT on Twitter and Facebook. You can use #PTmonth to let us know how you’re celebrating.

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October 08, 2020

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine provoked a Letter to the Editor from Dr. Greg Hartley (President, APTA Geriatrics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL), Dr. Leslie Allison (Editor, Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy), and Dr. Elizabeth Eckstrom (Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, School of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR). The original study is titled “A Randomized Trial of a Multifactorial Strategy to Prevent Serious Fall Injuries” (July 9, 2020; N Engl J Med 2020; 383:129-140, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2002183).

The study found no difference between the intervention and control groups. The “intervention” in this study included screening, recommendations and referrals, but no actual treatments known to reduce fall risk were provided (e.g., exercise, medication management, home safety modifications, and vision care). Drs Hartley, Eckstrom, and Allison’s correspondence to the Editor was published October 1, 2020. (N Engl J Med 2020; 383:1395-1396, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2026944). Their response praised the attempt to integrate fall prevention services into primary care settings, yet also indicated that without the provision of actual treatment including exercise, the negative study findings were unsurprising.

APTA Geriatrics members wishing to know more about the concerns raised by the original study and read a targeted response from Jennifer Vincenzo, PT, MPH, PhD, and Leslie Allison, PT, PhD may find a detailed commentary in the last issue of GeriNotes

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September 15, 2020

CMS reviewed with States, nursing homes, and other stakeholders the updated COVID 19 Testing and Reporting Requirements based on the recent Interim Final Rule with Comment Period released on August 25, 2020.

In an effort to keep residents safe, strengthen surveillance, and further reduce viral transmission of COVID 19 in nursing homes, CMS Administrator Seema Verma along with Dr. Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Admiral Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services presented the new regulatory requirements, guidance on how facilities can meet those requirements and available resources and technical assistance.

A copy of the presentation can be found here: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-ppt-nh-all-call.pdf

Recordings of the calls will be made available here https://www.cms.gov/outreach-education/partner-resources/coronavirus-covid-19-partner-toolkit

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September 03, 2020

APTA Geriatrics members who are planning to take the GCS exam are invited to participate in the new Geriatric Certified Specialization Mentorship Program, designed to help facilitate exam preparation and success. Regardless of whether your path to the exam is via your portfolio or a residency, this program will be an asset to your preparation.

APTA Geriatrics recognizes that mentorship is essential in helping to nurture and grow future geriatric specialists, and this program offers a key opportunity for our members to enhance clinical reasoning, improve current practice in the geriatric field, and network. For our existing members, the Geriatric Certified Specialist Mentorship Program is a benefit already included with the APTA Geriatrics component membership.

Participation in the program is voluntary, however, we do require that you complete the interest form by October 31.

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September 03, 2020

Tiffany Adams, PT, DPT, MBA, has been selected as a 2020 recipient of the APTA Emerging Leader Award. Adams is Assistant Director of Clinical Education/Clinical Assistant Professor in Physical Therapy at Winston-Salem State University.

In nominating Adams, leaders of APTA Geriatrics said: “Dr. Adams is highly organized, energetic, and a great role model for early to mid-career professionals. She is intelligent, dedicated, passionate and professional. I am certain she will continue to be a leader in our profession while bringing a much-needed diverse voice to the table.”

The Emerging Leader Award was established to annually honor individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary service to the profession and APTA early in their careers. Adams will be recognized in the December issue of APTA Magazine.

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August 06, 2020

The International Association of Physiotherapists has just unveiled their new website at www.iptop-physio.org/. IPTOP represents national special interest groups of physiotherapists working with oder people. IPTOP strives to be the international resource for physiotherapists working in older adult

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July 14, 2020

In June 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the formation of an independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes to review and assess the response to COVID-19. Last week, the commission launched an important opportunity for you to contribute to their work. 

•    Provide the commission with a publication or other resource to consider in their work (5-page limit).
•    Provide perspective (500-word limit) based on your experience with nursing homes.

There are also opportunities to express interest in learning more about the work of the commission, including your support for the well-being of nursing home residents and workers.

Click here for more information: https://sites.mitre.org/nhcovidcomm/public-engagement/

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July 07, 2020


Too many Americans don't move enough, but PTs and PTAs are perfectly positioned to help Americans choose more movement and better health. That's the message APTA is sharing in its latest public awareness campaign, which launched today and will make a significant impact in our association's centennial year of 2021.


Much like our award-winning anti-opioid campaign, which launched in 2016, our new physical activity initiative will leverage the reach of APTA's ChoosePT.com consumer-focused website to deliver messages, including an enhanced ChoosePT toolkit featuring shareable resources for components and members.


Similar to that campaign, we will develop public service announcements for TV and radio, to be released next year along with a paid advertising campaign. Please ensure that your members have updated their Find a PT profile so that consumers can contact them for an evaluation.


Components played a significant role in the success of our previous anti-opioid campaign. To continue to build on that success, we ask that you encourage member support and engagement for our physical activity campaign.


In addition to a new toolkit, we've updated all 50 active ChoosePT.com state-specific landing pages with a sharable physical activity graphic and a customizable zone linking to our new physical activity toolkit. As a reminder, each state landing page has a consistent URL structure (ChoosePT.com/[STATE ABBREVIATION]).


Contact APTA's PR and media team to discuss how your component can help extend the reach and impact of the physical activity campaign.

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July 07, 2020

“Taking Precautions for Mobility and Exercise as Potential Aerosol-Generating Procedures” describes mobilization, exercise, and ambulation as potential aerosol-generating procedures. It posits that PTs and PTAs should have access to appropriate masks when providing these interventions to patients with known or suspected COVID-19 to reduce the risk of exposure.

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July 07, 2020

APTA's academies and sections formed the Cross-Academy/Section COVID-19 Core Outcome Measure Task Force to identify a core set of outcome measures for patients diagnosed with COVID-19, across the continuum of care and in all settings. A core set of outcome measures aids in describing the trajectory of recovery from COVID-19 and facilitates research initiatives.

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June 29, 2020

APTA Geriatrics is pleased to announce that the Impact Factor (IF) of the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy (JGPT) increased 48.7% from 2.283 in 2018 to 3.396 in 2019!

JGPT is now #6 of 68 Journals in the Rehab category and #17 in the Geriatrics/Gerontology category.


Top 10 Journals (sorted by IF) in the Rehab category
























Top 20 Journals (sorted by IF) in the Geriatric/Geriontology category












































This is a huge accomplishment and the entire team at JGPT deserves our congratulations, including our publisher, Andrea Allison-Williams; Board Liaison, Jackie Osborne; all the JGPT Associate Editors; and especially our Editor, Dr. Leslie AllisonCongratulations Leslie and the entire JGPT Team!

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June 17, 2020

As of June 16, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its toolkit to guide states in mitigating the prevalence of COVID-19 within nursing homes. The toolkit is a compilation of information providing detailed quality improvement resources, and addresses issues including infection control, workforce and staffing, and use of telehealth. The agency previously cautioned that the toolkit is provided solely as an “informational product, and is “not intended as guidance from CMS.” 
The toolkit includes:
•    States actions for COVID-19 management and response;
•    Information on telehealth; and
•    Organizations available to assist nursing homes.

The toolkit can be found at: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-toolkit-states-mitigate-covid-19-nursing-homes.pdf.

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May 29, 2020

CMS announces that outpatient therapy furnished via telehealth can be reported on institutional claim during COVID-19 PHE


Breaking news!

CMS has updated its coronavirus waivers FAQs to add a new section on outpatient therapy and telehealth and announces that outpatient therapy furnished via telehealth can be reported on an institutional claim during the COVID-19 PHE.

Please find below the 3 new FAQs addressing this and two other common questions.

Question: Can outpatient therapy services that are furnished via telehealth and separately paid under Part B be reported on an institutional claim (e.g., UB-04) during the COVID-19 PHE?

Answer: Yes, outpatient therapy services that are furnished via telehealth, and are separately paid and not included as part of a bundled institutional payment, can be reported on institutional claims with the “-95” modifier applied to the service line.

This includes:

  • Hospital – 12X or 13X (for hospital outpatient therapy services);
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) – 22X or 23X (SNFs may, in some circumstances, furnish Part B physical therapy (PT)/occupational therapy (OT)/speech-language pathology (SLP) services to their own long-term residents);
  • Critical Access Hospital (CAH) – 85X (CAHs may separately provide and bill for PT, OT, and SLP services on 85X bill type);
  • Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facility (CORF) – 75X (CORFs provide ambulatory outpatient PT, OT, SLP services);
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation Facility (ORF) – 74X (ORFs, also known as rehabilitation agencies, provide ambulatory outpatient PT & SLP as well as OT services); and
  • Home Health Agency (HHA) – 34X (agencies may separately provide and bill for outpatient PT/OT/SLP services to persons in their homes only if such patients are not under a home health plan of care).

New: 5/27/20

Question: Can therapy services furnished using telecommunications technology be paid separately in a Medicare Part A skilled nursing facility (SNF) stay?

Answer: Provision of therapy services using telecommunications technology (consistent with applicable state scope of practice laws) does not change rules regarding SNF consolidated billing or bundling. For example, Medicare payment for therapy services is bundled into the SNF Prospective Payment System (PPS) rate during a SNF covered Part A stay, regardless of whether or not they are furnished using telecommunications technology. Therapy services furnished to a SNF resident, whether in person or as telehealth services, during a non-covered SNF stay (Part A benefits exhausted, SNF level of care requirement not met, etc.) must be billed to Part B by the SNF itself using bill type 22X, regardless of whether or not they are furnished using telecommunications technology.

New: 5/27/20

Question: Can outpatient therapy services be furnished and paid separately for patients receiving Medicare home health services?

Answer: No. For patients under a home health plan of care, payment for therapy services (unless provided by physicians/non-physician practitioners) is included or bundled into Medicare’s payment to the HHA, and those services must be billed by the HHA under the HHA consolidated billing rules. Patients should first be assessed for whether they are eligible to receive therapy services under the home health benefit prior to initiating outpatient therapy services. Receiving therapy services under the home health benefit may be in the best interest of the patient as there is no applicable coinsurance, copay, or deductible for such services (with the exception of negative pressure wound therapy using a disposable device), and the patient may also have a need for skilled nursing services, home health aide services, or medical social services under the home health benefit. However, if the patient is not eligible for home health care, including when it is not possible to provide in-person therapy services in the patient’s home (i.e., the patient is not under a home health plan of care), then outpatient therapy furnished via telehealth under Part B could be an appropriate alternative and separately billed, assuming all applicable requirements are otherwise met.

New: 5/27/20

Begins on page 70: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/03092020-covid-19-faqs-508.pdf

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May 14, 2020

APTA's COVID-19 Hub Community is now open to all APTA members to share resources and communicate with other members related to COVID-19. Subject matter experts from APTA sections intend to help provide general guidance to questions posted.

Members are encouraged to share clinical content they find on other websites or in their practice.


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May 14, 2020

CMS released a new toolkit developed to aid nursing homes, Governors, states, departments of health, and other agencies who provide oversight and assistance to these facilities, with additional resources to aid in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic within nursing homes. The toolkit builds upon previous actions taken by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which provide a wide range of tools and guidance to states, healthcare providers and others during the public health emergency. The toolkit is comprised of best practices from a variety of front line health care providers, Governors’ COVID-19 task forces, associations and other organizations, and experts, and is intended to serve as a catalogue of resources dedicated to addressing the specific challenges facing nursing homes as they combat COVID-19.



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May 12, 2020

The pandemic has raised the pressing question of how society should allocate scarce resources during a crisis. This is the question experts addressed today in a new position statement published by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (DOI: 10.1111/jgs.16537). The statement focuses primarily on whether age should be considered when making decisions to allocate scarce resources. Read more here: https://www.americangeriatrics.org/media-center/news/new-ags-position-statement-addresses-one-health-cares-most-difficult-issues

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May 02, 2020

Check out these excellent evidence-based resources to help you motivate older adults to engage in physical activity during the coronavirus pandemic and directives for social distancing and sheltering in place. Prepared by the Health Promotion and Wellness Special Interest Group. Download the PDF.

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April 21, 2020

Geriatric Considerations is part of the PACER Project (Post-Acute COVID19 Exercise & Rehabilitation). This video, co-sponsored by APTA Geriatrics, is available for free CEUs on the APTA Learning Center for both APTA and non-APTA members.


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March 30, 2020

The Alzheimer’s Association is offering new guidance to help ensure the delivery of high-quality care for people living with Alzheimer’s and all dementia in long-term care and community-based settings during the current COVID-19 crisis.

The document released today is in collaboration with 34 long-term care and community-based care providers and affiliated associations. It identifies important care considerations and incorporates evidence-based strategies from the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Recommendations to assist staff in long-term and community-based care settings during emergency situations. Many of the groups supporting the guidance document participate in the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Provider Roundtable (AADCPR), a consortium of thought leaders from the dementia care provider industry including nursing homes, assisted living, and home and community-based services.

“The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the health of millions, but it presents unique challenges for the more than 5 million America's living with Alzheimer's, especially those in long-term and community-based care, who are often the most frail and vulnerable,” said Doug Pace, NHA, director, mission partnerships, Alzheimer’s Association. “This document is aimed at helping providers who may face staffing shortages deliver high-quality dementia care during an emergency situation.”

The new document provides care tips and guidance in several key areas, including:

  • Preventing illness
  • Providing person-centered care
  • Helping families and friends stay connected
  • Monitoring and responding to dementia-related issues, including assistance with eating and drinking, mobility and observing and responding to dementia-related behaviors

“In emergency situations, long-term and community-based care providers may experience staffing shortages or have to use non-clinical staff to assist with care,” Pace said. “This document can be used to focus staff very quickly on the most important considerations in caring for persons with dementia. It emphasizes person-centered care, which is the essential starting point for delivering optimal care. Individuals living with dementia thrive best with a consistent routine and with person-centered approaches. During emergency situations these practices are even more important.”

Thought leaders and organizations representing nursing homes, assisted living, and home and community-based services are supporting the guidance document and will be sharing it with their staff and employees across the country.

“The document outlines the most important dementia care considerations in the current environment,” said Letitia Jackson, senior vice president, Senior Star and chair, AADCPR. “Person-centered care is something the Roundtable members strive for to support those living with dementia every day. This document serves as an important reminder that this remains the goal even during a crisis.”

According to the 2020 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, 48% percent of nursing home residents are living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Among older adults in residential facilities, including assisted living, 42% or more have some form of Alzheimer’s or other dementias. In addition, many individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias receive community-based services, including 32% of individuals using home health services and 31% using adult day services.

“The COVID-19 crisis is creating anxiety and disruption for all Americans,” said Patrick Doyle, Ph.D., Regional Vice President of Operations, Brightview Senior Living, and vice-chair, AADCPR. “People living with dementia are especially vulnerable because they cannot adapt easily to the current realities. Providing guidance to help care and support people living with dementia during this challenging time is really beneficial.” “The Alzheimer’s Association is very appreciative of all of the organizations that have collaborated with us and are supporting this important guidance,” Pace said. “Having consensus on these important care considerations will help in the delivery of high-quality dementia care even during this uncertain time.”

About the Alzheimer’s Association: The Alzheimer’s Association leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia – by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.

See the document here: https://alz.org/professionals/professional-providers/coronavirus-covid-19-tips-for-dementia-caregivers

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March 30, 2020

CMS has issued an electronic toolkit regarding telehealth and telemedicine for Long Term Care Nursing Home Facilities. Under President Trump’s leadership to respond to the need to limit the spread of community COVID-19, CMS has broadened access to Medicare telehealth services so that beneficiaries can receive a wider range of services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility. This document contains electronic links to reliable sources of information regarding telehealth and telemedicine, including the significant changes made by CMS over the last week in response to the National Health Emergency. Most of the information is directed towards providers who may want to establish a permanent telemedicine program, but there is information here that will help in the temporary deployment of a telemedicine program as well. There are specific documents identified that will be useful in choosing telemedicine vendors, equipment, and software, initiating a telemedicine program, monitoring patients remotely, and developing documentation tools. There is also information that will be useful for providers who intend to care for patients through electronic virtual services that may be temporarily used during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The toolkit can be accessed here: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-19-nursing-home-telehealth-toolkit.pdf

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March 27, 2020

A new set of recommendations for provision of physical therapist services related to COVID-19 in the acute hospital setting acknowledges the necessity of involvement of PTs well-trained in respiratory physical therapy, but cautions that facilities should be judicious in their use. Read more here

Download the recommendations here. 

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March 25, 2020

APTA's Interactive Audio and Video Telecommunications System Matrix - This is a telehealth platform spread sheet which lists several quality platforms along with descriptions and costs so that the reader can compare. This is not an endorsement of any one platform and was a collaborative effort between APTA Regulatory Affairs, FIRST Council and HPA Tech SIG. The link is currently at the bottom of the HPA COVID 19 page.


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March 25, 2020

This is a big share for anyone who may need to access EHR record of a pt. (Post acute care and private practice may be very interested) - more complete information with links on HPA COVID -19 page about a quarter way down on the page: https://www.aptahpa.org/general/custom.asp?page=COVID19#InteractiveAudio

Kno2 is making their portal available for purposes of On Demand Patient Record Retrieval Service available at NO CHARGE (during the state of emergency) to all of post-acute including LTACs, IRFs, Skilled Nursing, Homecare/Home Health, Therapy Providers, etc. This provides an opportunity to access the most recent patient records of other providers in the community as we treat patients during this public health crisis.

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March 23, 2020

The International Association of Physical Therapists Working with Older People (IPTOP), a component of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT) of which APTA Geriatrics is a member organization, has compiled a list of available resources and social media links to support physiotherapists and older adults during this time. It is available to IPTOP members and colleagues here:https://drive.google.com/file/d/

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March 20, 2020

APTA released a Statement on Patient Care and Practice Management During COVID-19 Outbreak, discussing how to use the CDC guidance in making patient care determinations.

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March 20, 2020

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019.

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March 20, 2020

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) have shared their Guidance for Therapy Personnel in LTC Facilities During COVID-19 Pandemic. These are based on the CDC guidelines for LTC facilities (including skilled nursing centers and assisted living communities), and recommend individualized care plans and goals for each resident assessed to determine which therapies are essential at this time.

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March 20, 2020

Broad River Rehab recorded the following webinar: Staying Close to the Ones You Love with Televisits

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November 11, 2019

If you’d like to participate in discussions on topics related to geriatric physical therapy, we encourage you to join the new APTA Geriatrics Discussion Group. This group will be open to both non-members and members of APTA Geriatrics. 

To join,

  1. Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/geriatricspt/.
  2. Click the "Join Group" button in the group's main menu to send a request to join the group.
  3. Check your notifications. Once a moderator of the group approves your membership, Facebook will send you a notification of the approval and group posts will immediately begin to appear in your news feed.
  4. Incoming posts will be moderated by a team of PTs.

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